Steeplechase Films: “Oliver Sacks: His Own Life”


Steeplechase Films is an award-winning production company founded by Ric Burns in 1989. Over the past two decades, it has brought quality programming to public television and redefined the way audiences engage with American history. In “Oliver Sacks: His Own Life,” Steeplechase tells the story of the extraordinary physician and writer.

On January 15, 2015, Oliver Sacks learned that he had only a few months to live. One month later, he sat down for a series of filmed interviews in his apartment in New York. Surrounded by family and friends, along with notebooks from six decades of thinking and writing about the brain, he talked about his life and work, his abiding sense of wonder at the natural world, and the place of human beings within it.

“Oliver Sacks: His Own Life” draws on these twilight reflections, as well as nearly two dozen deeply revealing interviews with friends, family members, colleagues and patients — including Jonathan Miller, Temple Grandin, Lawrence Weschler and Bill Hayes. The film is in part a biography, revealing a deeply empathetic and elusive expatriate Englishman. It is also an exploration of the science of human consciousness and a meditation on the deep and intimate relationships between art, science and storytelling.


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